2011 Packers Yearbook: Most Overrated Player

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2011 Packers Yearbook: Most Overrated Player

(Be sure to place your vote in the poll below.)

Adam: B.J. Raji. Enough with the dancing. Enough with the commercials. Raji needs to spend the offseason getting stronger so he doesn’t get blown off the line as often as he did last season.

Al: Matt Flynn. If we’re talking overrated by fans, Flynn takes the prize. All those ridiculous trade scenarios fans were coming up with? Bah! If Flynn reaches Matt Hasselbeck level, that would be a best-case scenario, but I’d be more inclined to say Chad Pennington. I don’t dislike Flynn – I admire his toughness (he stands in there and takes hits) and decision-making (much improved under MM’s tutelage), but his arm will always be a limiting factor.  He had a magical day. It happens, but it’s not who he is.

Chad: This year all signs point to B.J. Raji. He had a good rookie year and an even better second year; however, this season he seemed to fall off of a cliff. There are other factors to consider with this – such as the lack of talent across the rest of the defensive line – but at the end of the day, Raji was just not meeting his potential. He made the Pro Bowl this year, but that just seems to be a carryover from past performance. He can shake off this overrated title in 2012, but for now it stays with him.

Kris: I have to go with Raji as well.  You just didn’t hear his name all that much this year and had it not been for that interception in the NFC title game, Raji would be just another player.  One play does not a career make but we’re seeing a lot of folks do that with the “Freezer.”  Just because he is a marketing machine doesn’t mean he’s uber-talented

Michael: B.J. Raji is the popular choice, and I have to say there is no player on the Packers roster that was more overrated than Raji in 2011. It is laughable that Raji made the Pro Bowl this season, but then again, the Pro Bowl itself is quite laughable. Raji’s disappearance in 2011 was a big factor in the Packers’ defense deficiencies.

Thomas: I hate to say it but Josh Sitton.  Sitton definitely took a step back last year, though supposedly there were some injuries that might have affected his performance.  A lot of praise was heaped onto Sitton after the 2010 season, winning the NFL Alumni Offensive Player of the Year award as well as the general notoriety of winning the Super Bowl and was justly rewarded with a fat $35 million extension.  Frankly, he didn’t really live up to those expectations last season, he got called for far more penalties, wasn’t as dominant as he was before and generally didn’t make the same sort of impression on me as he had in previous seasons.  I’m not saying that Sitton as a whole is overrated, I still think he’s still one of the best guards in the game, but he was definitely overrated for the 2011 season.

Zach: Not sure I’d consider Raji “overrated.” He was a dominant player to end 2010 as a penetrating zero-technique, which is rare.  Disappointing might be a better word for Raji’s 2011 season than overrated.  I’ll go with Jermichael Finley. He has all the physical talent in the world but hasn’t put it all together mentally. While guys like Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski put up insane numbers on similar offenses, Finley was little more than average in 2011. Maybe with a new contract on board, Finley can start fulfilling his immense potential next season.



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.


32 thoughts on “2011 Packers Yearbook: Most Overrated Player

  1. How much of rajis bad year do you attribute to his failure to prepare and how much of it do you attribute to them misusing him?

    Flynn is the type of QB that would have taken a team like this years 49ers or the ravens to the superbowl and maybe won it for them. a cut above Alex smith and Joe flacco but not as good as Rodgers or Brady. Probably the same tier as Eli manning. One thing I can say about manning is he’s the 2nd best clutch QB of all time only behind Joe montana so I can’t speak for flynn as far as that goes but as far as overall ability Flynn is on par with him. I don’t know that he’s overrated. Chad Pennington? That’s a little underrated based on what we’ve seen from him.

    Finley is overrated because of the sizable contract based on a sub par end of the year but fans in general recognized and blamed him accordingly for his short comings. So basically over paid would be a better word for Finley I think.

    1. based on the logic of Finley being over rated because he’s over paid I would say that Hawk is MUCH MUCH MUCH more over rated than finley.

    2. There… You’re highly overrating Flynn in your comments. Better than Flacco? Same tier as Manning? Based on one game? Or even two? I don’t get it.

    1. Because he wasn’t over rated. O.o He’s not as fast as he used to be and he doesn’t put himself out there to tackle like he used to because he’s at the age where his career will be over if he has a major injury but he directly won games for our team this year and indirectly won a few more. He led the league in interceptions. He was the biggest contributer to our insane turnover ratio (aside from Rodgers if you want to work that angle) which made us a 15-1 team and most of the big plays he gave up can be attributed to 0 pass rush.

  2. I would’ve put Flynn over Raji also, but I didn’t because flynn is a free agent.

  3. Raji didn’t play his best but I wouldn’t say he was over =rated because everyone from the start saw his shortcomings. So, we already knew he was having a bad year. J-Mike had the third most productive season of all TE’s.
    The one player most people miss is Sitton, too many times I saw the penalties, the missed assignments and the pure outworking of this big guy. It has to be an off year because the guy can do it. Don’t forget coming out of college he blocked for the ncaa leading rusher. It has to be an aberation and with any talk of an off year plus the much needed minicamps, he’ll be back to normal.

  4. Without a doubt,the one an only…”Filet o’Fish” himself…YOTTO boy…Finley.

        1. Polls are popularity contests (or the antithesis of one in this case) Al. I can’t understand how the 3rd most productive TE in the game with the best yards/target in the NFL gets beat up so much outside of the drops (aberration over his career) and outspoken nature (which has zero negative impact in the locker room).

          No coincidence that Nelson’s numbers explode upon his return and the Packers were the number 1 offense when he plays an entire season.

          Room for improvement, absolutely. Does he deserve even a single vote on an overrated poll? Shouldn’t even be an option.

    1. What are you guys basing this on? His contract or public opinion? I’m pretty sure almost everyone recognizes Finley for his mistakes and admits that he’s got potential but makes too many mental errors right now. so how is he overrated if everyone recognizes him for what he is? A tone of potential that hasn’t even come close to playing well enough to warrant a long term commitment. I guess I understand where you’re coming from if you’re referring to his contract but like I said I think that means he’s overPAID not overRATED.

      1. His on field play.Even with the stats that have him 3rd?…he has the best QB and by his own self predicted feats…he’s overrated.Potential ia a variable that only matters after/if you achieve it.
        Raji had and still has potential,achieved and fell off….overrated…no.
        Finley is said to have geat potential..hasn’t reached it…may not reach it…2nd contract…overrated.
        He coined the YOTTO two years in a row.
        CM3 getting less sacks…inability or scheme fail?
        Raji inability or alone on the DL?
        Finley is self made fall or self failed to rise?Yes and Yes.

  5. You could justify an argument for a number of players. Staying with the spirit of the article in terms of “overrated”, I’d go with…

    1. Finley – Hype machine got traction way before his hands did.

    2. Raji – 46th out of 46 and he makes the Pro-Bowl?

    3. Tramon Williams – Getting hot for 1/2 a season doesn’t make him a secondary savior.

    4. Mike Neal – Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

    Now, none of these guys are bad players (although the jury is still out on Neal), I am just ranking them based on their play in 2011 compared to all the yap and chatter that preceded or accompanied them all season long.

    I hope that we get to see an underrated list as well.

  6. $11M for last season bonus & salary for Hawk with a record of zero turnover plays and the 2nd most missed tackles (would have led the team if he didn’t miss 3 games)is the stand alone winner. Raji was handcuffed with arena league defensive ends on his right (Winn – Wilson) and to their right a LB (Walden) who got caught inside all year long and to his right a DB (Shields) that wouldn’t hit anyone to save his life – put yourself in his place and see how you perform.

  7. Raji had a down year but people are greatly exaggerating his poor play as a byproduct of Pro Football Focus and their superficial observations. They’re amateurs, they don’t know the assignments, they have a remedial understanding of defensive scheme and basically look at body-on-body only.

    Case in point: they keep touting Cullen Jenkins as a top run defender. Ummm, he was awful. They pulled him on obvious run downs because he’s a liability. The Eagles defensive scheme, similar to the Lions, ask their defensive tackles to simply get vertical as if pass rushing on every down with the philosophy being ‘disruption’. As a byproduct Jenkins blew by far more plays than he made. His stop rate he did make falls under, ‘even a blind squirrel finds a nut.’

    In other words, he ran into it.

    PFF is a starting point for a conversation, not an end-point for credible analysis.

    I agree Raji had a down year, but it’s being greatly exaggerated.

      1. They use the data as a starting point for evaluation, not an end-point. That’s my entire point. They look at unanticipated superficial outcomes and then hit the film to confirm or deny.

        No different than the combine or pro-day.

        That’s my point.

  8. I’m with Al, give me Flynn. I seem to recall fans placing Harrell on the 53 after his super-awesome comeback without regard to looking at what he was asked to do and his overall physical ability. They looked at outcome only. Well, 31 teams felt their backups were better in addition to their 3rd option. Turns out, Harrell was viewed as roughly the 70th + best QB in the NFL.

    I hold Flynn in much higher regard than Harrell, I believe he’s a competent NFL starter. But that’s it.

  9. Raji was abused by the coaching staff more than offensive lines. A man that big can only play fresh for so long in a game and season. A lot was expected of him, and the wear and tear of eating blockers showed up. I expected more from him statistically, but I also didn’t expect o-lines to always double team him either.

    1. One thing has always concerned me about Raji. from people who know him here in NJ, he’s not the angry, aggressive, nasty type. Which makes him a nice person, but a bit “soft” as a D lineman. I don’t want my DLs to be “nice boys.”

  10. You’re dead on Al. The whole franchise tag thing was driving me crazy. Flynn’s reputation was based on two games. One was a loss. I don’t mean to take away anything from Flynn’s potential but he has yet to start more than one game in a row. Until then is an unkown.

    The Raji hate here is understandable. He was not as effective as he wa in 11′ as 10′. However I’m thinking that some of that lack of power and aggressiveness was part of the way Capers was playing the D. Even with interior blitzes the attack stopped as soon as contact was made with the offensive player.

    Anxious to see an overall shot of enthusiasm in the very lack luster defensive effort last year.

  11. I didn’t put AJ Hawk in because to me, “overrated” applies to someone that many think are better than he really is. I don’t think too many people are that high on Hawk anymore, so he’s no longer “overrated”.

  12. Change my vote to Neal. Anyone who takes steriods and plays that bad desrves a gold plated Over-rated.

  13. On this pass happy offense and with his speed , Finley should of had a monster year.

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